2014 will be the Year of Healthcare Marketing. Why? Because the Affordable Care Act has everyone thinking about where they can find the most affordable insurance options. That means the healthcare market will be flooded with already insured looky-loos who want to see what’s available if they switch insurance providers, as well as the plethora of uninsured who are legally mandated to find coverage. Insurance companies continue to provide increasing coverage for fertility treatments, which mean many of those newly insured healthcare shoppers will be looking for you. Your fertility practice needs to position itself in the upper stratosphere of search engine results so your prospective patients choose you over your competitors.
Healthcare marketing is a unique niche. In most cases, your services are your product, which alter how you approach your marketing strategies. Fertility practices are more distinctive than typical healthcare practices because your prospective patients are in a tender spot. Big, bold, and zany advertisements are not necessarily what they’re looking for as they navigate the emotional world of conception challenges and infertility heartbreak. Therefore, you need to be extra careful about creating a powerful fertility marketing presence while maintaining the caring and compassionate aspects that got you into your fertility practice in the first place.
The good news is that best marketing practices still apply, they just may need a softer or more subtle approach to attract legitimate leads. Here are 7 marketing approaches you can take to help develop your fertility practice’s brand and exposure.
- Be Mobile. Is your website optimized or designed for mobile devices? Are you optimizing your mobile advertising campaigns? This is an especially important step for fertility marketing because the majority of the prospective patients who are searching the information you offer are women – and women love their mobile technology. Now that smartphones are becoming the primary source for web based searching and communicating, you need to make sure your company is easily visible and digestible via mobile gadgets.
- Make Your Content Count. Sure, there are plenty of tricks and tips that can help you gain momentum in short, powerful bursts. But for the long haul, the quality of your web and blog content matters. Search engines (meaning Google and Bing) are continually changing their algorithms to ensure companies with legitimate, informative, and genuine content are the ones that rise to the top of the results. Continue researching what brings people to your site, or what other fertility clinicsaren’t writing about. Make sure your content provides the understanding, compassionate, and informative words your clients want to hear.
- Establish Your brand. Believe it or not, there are people who study and analyze healthcare marketing to establish what works and what doesn’t. The recent MM&M/Ogilvy CommonHealth Healthcare Marketers Trends Report showed that more money is being spent on branded marketing than unbranded marketing, a sign that branding matters. Your brand needs to be consistent and identifiable and, if done correctly, professional fertility marketing will accomplish that.
- Turn Up The PR. Fertility continues to be an interesting topic to media outlets – whether its local TV or bloggers. Look for ways to position your physicians as industry experts and volunteer them as spokespeople when related stories break. There are a number of ways to increase your visibility in the local media..
- Increase Your Social Media Presence. Facebook and Twitter used to be the only social media platforms that really mattered. Now, Google+, Pinterest, Tumblr, and other relative newbies are staking their claim of the social media market. Find ways to develop your brand using every social media platform you can. The more people are taking note and sharing your information, the better it is for your brand and your online presence.
- Words and Shares. SEO used to the the only way to the top. Then inbound links became a large part of the ranking equation. Now, Google is paying attention to what people like, share and – of course – +1. We predict that social sharing is going to become as important, if not more important, than inbound links so make sure you are paying as close attention to your social media presence and interactions as you are to your search engine optimization.
- Hire a Professional Healthcare Marketing Firm. In the beginning, things were simple and it was much easier for fertility clinics to manage their fertility marketing in-house once the website was established. A blog or two per week was all that mattered, and data and analytics were a twinkle in Google’s eye. Now, digital marketing is a hardcore science and business practice that takes expertise, time and energy to do well. A professional marketing team is your best bet to gain the strongest online vantage point.
Fertility marketing done right will put you in prime position to capture leads and will make sure you outrank your competitors in 2014.